Sheldon City Council Sets Date for Hearing on Downtown Project Assessments

Date posted - March 20, 2013

SheldonWhen the Sheldon City Council met Wednesday they adopted the preliminary assessment plat and schedule for the downtown infrastructure project.

That document shows the amount that each parcel of downtown property will be assessed to help fund the endeavor.  The assessments will produce about two hundred and seventy thousand dollars toward the total cost of the project.  It was pointed out that the assessments were based as a percentage of their assessed value.  If the total cost of the project exceeds the engineer’s estimate the assessments will not go up.  But if the total cost is lower than the estimate, the assessments will go down.

Phil Warnke, operator of the Ben Franklin store thanked the council for working toward downtown improvements, but voiced his concerns about the economic impact the assessments will have on property owners.   As an example, he said the  property his stores occupy will be assessed seventeen thousand dollars.  Warnke said he felt that since the property owners installed the sidewalks, and the city will tear them up, the city should pay for their replacement.  And he said he fears that some stores would be put out of business by the cost. Council member Duane Seehusen told Warnke that when the city worked on the street in front of his home they tore out the sidewalk, and he was assessed  the replacement cost.   Dave Popkes said there have been concerns about the fact that some businesses have just installed new sidewalks to comply with the city code.  Now these sidewalks will be torn out and the businesses will have to pay again.  Popkes said he was one of those businesses, but he feels this is ‘just a part of being downtown’.

The Council set April 17th as the date for a public hearing on the assessments. At the suggestion of council member Geels,  the city will consider holding an open public meeting prior to the public hearing.  The engineer said he would be happy to attend that meeting to answer questions. There would be ample news announcements to make the public aware of when they can attend this meeting as well as the public hearing.   Also, all affected property owners will be sent an official notice of the time and place of the hearing. It was emphasized by City officials that nothing about the project is set in stone, and no construction details have been approved at this time.

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5 Responses to “Sheldon City Council Sets Date for Hearing on Downtown Project Assessments”

  1. Concerned Citizen says:

    I hope there is a big turn out to the “open public meeting prior to the public hearing”. If there is not a big turnout and opinions are not expressed then nobody has the right to say one word about what is decided. This is what everyone has been asking for. We need to make sure this happens.

  2. Hadaway says:

    The beginning of an empty downtown. Pat yourselves on the back Council.

  3. We should be smarter. says:

    “Council member Duane Seehusen told Warnke that when the city worked on the street in front of his home they tore out the sidewalk, and he was assessed the replacement cost.”
    Hmm. So what he’s saying is that because he got the shaft, it’s okay to hose everyone else. Two wrongs make a right, I guess?

    • Johnny Rotten says:

      You got it! That’s is his defence anytime it is brought up at the meetings. ” I had to pay so they have to pay”. That is an exampleof our great community leadership! If you watch the meetings on tv you can see he is visably upset that he ended up paying for that work. But now it is the buisness/property owners to feel his pain!

      • 2009 Sidewalk Installer says:

        “just a part of being downtown” So why be downtown? There needs to be incentive.
        Because council members have sidewalks to maintain, everyone should have sidewalks to maintain? (except the lucky ones where it is not “feasible”) Take no account for the path it takes or how many 30+ year old trees might have to go! If you want to live in Sheldon, you have to pay! There was no consideration for the down economy, or working hours that were at an all time low at many area employers.
        “The sidewalk committee says install, so we nod with them. Oh, where do you live again?” So much for the case by case hearing of the council members.
        Now, its “There’s grant money available, so lets take what we can get to go part way. The property owners can pick up the rest!”

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